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Song Chin Lin and Phillip J. Smith

Abstract

An available potential energy budget analysis is presented for an area and period (0000 GMT 3 April-1200 GMT 4 April 1974) spanning the lift cycle of a severe storm-producing extratropical cyclone which moved across the central United States. Included are diabatic heating estimates. Among these, total latent heat release and longwave radiation contribute significant positive and negative values, respectively. Total latent heat release is generally in good agreement with observed weather features and cyclone development.

Budget results show that during the development of the extratropical cyclone the available potential energy within the region under investigation increases. Diabatic generation is a source of available potential energy, but its value is rather small when compared with other budget terms. Available potential energy generation primarily results from convective latent heat release ahead of the cold front in the warm sector. A large amount of total potential energy is released; however, only a small portion is converted into kinetic energy within the system. Horizontal transport of available potential energy is always a significant source of available potential energy.

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Song Chin Lin and Philip J. Smith

Abstract

Diabatic heating by latent heat release and longwave radiation and corresponding generation of available potential energy have been computed for a tornado-producing cyclone system. Also, the contributions of two subareas, encompassing the immediate cyclone vicinity and the convection area, to the cyclone system generation are examined applying the concepts of limited region baroclinic and barotropic generation.

Heating values, which are dominated by convective latent heat release, are generally in good agreement with observed weather features and cyclone development. The resulting positive cyclone system generation is comparable with previous studies and is strongly influenced by the contributions made by the two subareas. In turn, the latter are dominated by their. barotropic components, indicating that the heating fields in these subareas contribute more effectively to increasing or maintaining the baroclinicity of the cyclone system than of the subareas themselves.

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